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Increase in body size is correlated to warmer winters in a passerine bird as inferred from time series data
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
2015 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 5, no 1, 59-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is expected to affect natural populations in many ways. One way of getting an understanding of the effects of a changing climate is to analyze time series of natural populations. Therefore, we analyzed time series of 25 and 20years, respectively, in two populations of the citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) to understand the background of a dramatic increase in wing length in this species over this period, ranging between 1.3 and 2.9 phenotypic standard deviations. We found that the increase in wing length is closely correlated to warmer winters and in one case to rain in relation to temperature in the summer. In order to understand the process of change, we implemented seven simulation models, ranging from two nonadaptive models (drift and sampling), and five adaptive models with selection and/or phenotypic plasticity involved and tested these models against the time series of males and females from the two population separately. The nonadaptive models were rejected in each case, but the results were mixed when it comes to the adaptive models. The difference in fit of the models was sometimes not significant indicating that the models were not different enough. In conclusion, the dramatic change in mean wing length can best be explained as an adaptive response to a changing climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, no 1, 59-72 p.
Keyword [en]
Citril finch, climate change, phenotypic evolution, plasticity, selection, time series
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243665DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1323ISI: 000347517300006PubMedID: 25628864OAI: diva2:789844
Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-11 Last updated: 2015-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, Mats
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